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Naughty bell

Naughty bell
A very old political prisoner aged 300 lives in Moscow Kremlin. Who could it be?

This is a  bell, cast in 1712.  This bell was severely punished during the reign of Catherine the Great. But what was its guilt?

In 1771 during an uprising in Moscow (it was known as the Plague rebellion) people gathered in the Kremlin under the blows of this bell. Enraged empress did not find the organizers of the rebellion so she ordered to punish the bell. The clapper of the bell was torn out and the bell was left voiceless. It would be later "imprisoned" in the Kremlin Arsenal until later transferred to the Armory museum.

This story illustrates the people's attitude towards bells. In old times every bell was given a name and it was baptized. Different parts of the bell are called in Russian the same way as parts of the human body. The upper part of the bell is called "the head', the holes in it are refereed as "ears". Every bell has a "skirt" (or a "shirt") and the clapper is called "the tong". No surprise that bells like human beings had their own destiny, and some of the naughty bells (that brought bad news) could be punished.

You'll see this bell during your Moscow tours in the Armoury museum.

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